Tag Archives: wrestling

Celtic want UEFA answers over referee"s performance in Champions League defeat to Juventus

Celtic demand answers from UEFA over Champions League ref with boss Lennon still furious at Juventus wrestle tactics

By
John Mcgarry

PUBLISHED:

14:01 GMT, 15 February 2013

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UPDATED:

22:56 GMT, 15 February 2013

Celtic will go to UEFA to seek an explanation as to why referee Alberto Mallenco failed to apply the letter of the law in the 3-0 defeat to Juventus on Tuesday.

Neil Lennon’s side were comprehensively beaten by the Italian champions, but much of the aftermath focused on the reluctance of the Spanish official to penalise the roughhouse tactics of the visitors while defending set-plays.

Despite Juve’s back-line repeatedly bear-hugging their opponents at the 10 corners Celtic forced, Mallenco’s actions were limited to yellow cards for Stephan Lichtsteiner and Simone Padoin, while Gary Hooper and Scott Brown were also cautioned.

Corner chaos: Juventus keeper Gianluigi Buffon got to grips with Celtic striker Gary Hooper

Corner chaos: Juventus keeper Gianluigi Buffon got to grips with Celtic striker Gary Hooper

NOW READ GRAHAM POLL

Celtic
were beaten by Juve – but they were let down by the referee. Big Daddy,
Giant Haystacks and Mick McManus were all that was missing from this
wrestling extravaganza

And Lennon, who does not dispute that Juve deserved to win the match, will now dispatch a DVD of the visitors’ tactics to Nyon in the coming days together with a letter seeking an explanation for Mallenco’s inaction.

‘We have DVD footage of the game and we would like someone to give us some answers,’ said the Celtic manager.

‘I am compiling it myself along with the video-analysis guys and writing a letter (to UEFA) asking for a ruling.

‘I have asked this question again and still haven’t had an answer. We played Juventus 11 years ago.

Too close: The tussle between Buffon, Hooper and Stephan Lichtsteiner was like a wrestling match

Too close: The tussle between Buffon, Hooper and Stephan Lichtsteiner was like a wrestling match

‘We were awarded a penalty from which Chris Sutton scored. What is the difference from 2001 to 2013 Can somebody please give me an answer

‘What Juventus did was way beyond the limit of the law in football.

‘This wasn’t even close to a bit of shirt-tugging. This was arms up around players preventing them from forward momentum.

‘They were basically pulling and holding them at every opportunity.

Now for the headlock: Hooper is held in the box by Lichsteiner

Now for the headlock: Hooper is held in the box by Lichsteiner

‘You may as well turn the game into a wrestling match.’

The performance of Efe Ambrose was also under close scrutiny in the wake of the defeat after the Nigerian —fresh from winning the Africa Cup of Nations — made errors that contributed to Juve’s first and third goals.

Ambrose only arrived back in Glasgow the day before the game.

Lennon, though, insists that if he had to select his side again, Ambrose would be included.

Hands off: Hooper and Lichsteiner carry on their struggles

Hands off: Hooper and Lichsteiner carry on their struggles

‘Efe is all right. He was very apologetic after the game,’ said Lennon. ‘He made basic errors but, if I had my time over again, I would still pick him.

‘Efe has been fantastic for us. He’s added a different dimension to the way we play, particularly in Europe.

‘His performances away from home in Barcelona, Lisbon and Moscow were as good as any centre-half I’ve seen at the club for a long time.’

Up in arms: Scott Brown gets the treatment too, from Simone Padoin

Up in arms: Scott Brown gets the treatment too, from Simone Padoin

Lennon stressed there was no issue between Kris Commons and Ambrose on account of the former’s outspoken remarks.

‘I would imagine he has apologised privately, yeah,’ he said. ‘I have dealt with it internally.’ Mikael Lustig, Scott Brown and Rami Gershon will miss today’s game against Dundee United, while Victor Wanyama is a doubt.

Pushing their luck: Brown has words with Andrea Pirlo after another round of shoving

Pushing their luck: Brown has words with Andrea Pirlo after another round of shoving

London 2012 Games: I"m proud to be picked, says Plastic Brit Olga Butkevych

I'm proud to be only pick for wrestling team, says Plastic Brit Butkevych

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UPDATED:

18:45 GMT, 15 June 2012

'Plastic Brit' Olga Butkevych will be the only freestyle wrestler to compete for Great Britain at the London Olympics.

The 26-year-old European bronze medallist, who was born in the Ukraine and only received her British passport in May, has been selected in the 55kg class.

Butkevych said: ‘I am extremely honoured and proud to be selected to represent Team GB at London 2012.’

Loner: Olga Butkevych is GB's only freestyle wrestler at the London Games

Loner: Olga Butkevych is GB's only freestyle wrestler at the London Games

London 2012 Olympics: Myroslav Dykun fails drugs test amid Plastic Brit row

'Plastic Brit' fails drugs test! Wrestling mercenary named as cheat

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UPDATED:

08:50 GMT, 3 May 2012

One of the 'Plastic Brits' hired to represent the Great Britain wrestling team at London 2012 has failed a drugs test.

As revealed exclusively by Sportsmail, Myroslav Dykun, brought in from the Ukraine as part of British Wrestling's opportunistic attempt to import success at the expense of home-grown talent, will be named as the offender.

'I can confirm that he has failed his A sample. The drug was amphetamines,' said British Wrestling's chief executive Colin Nicholson.

'Golden boy': Myroslav Dykun (top) was imported by British Wrestling

'Golden boy': Myroslav Dykun (top) was imported by British Wrestling

He will now miss the Games if his B-test returns positive, and has already been banned from competing and had his funding stopped.

'He is immediately suspended from competition and funding,' Nicholson added. Under no circumstances do we condone drug-taking in any form – whether it be recreational or performance-enhancing.

'British Wrestling will not tolerate such behaviour from anyone. This is evidence that we are determined to work in partnership to root out anyone mis-using substances.'

The positive test makes a mockery of the
3.5million spent by UK Sport on the squad since a host of eastern
European mercenaries joined up in recent years.

The revelation comes two months to the day since Sportsmail exclusively
reported that two female Ukraine-born wrestlers, Yana Stadnik and Olga
Butkevych, would be denied UK passports in time for the Olympics.

In all, five Ukrainian wrestlers
have married British wrestlers in the last few years, though British
Wrestling have denied the marriages are sham to bolster the squad.

Out of action: Olga Butkevych (top) was denied a UK passport for the Games

Out of action: Olga Butkevych (top) was denied a UK passport for the Games

Dykun,
described by one insider as the golden boy of British Wrestling's
controversial policy, will miss the Olympics subject to confirmation
from the B sample and a hearing.

one wrestling insider said: 'I am coaching kids and the way British Wrestling have acted is a betrayal of them.'

The British Olympic Association declined to comment.

Dykun missed recent Olympic qualifying events in Bulgaria and China and is now barred from competing at another qualifier in Helsinki this week.

He moved to Great Britain in 2003 as part of British Wrestling's controversial initiative to get eastern European athletes to help home-grown wrestlers develop into medal prospects – Britain's last Olympic medal in the sport came in 1984 when Londoner Noel Loban won bronze.

British Wrestling insisted that the athletes would only be sparring partners, but the organisation performed a U-turn and permitted the wrestlers to compete for Britain.

British Wrestling will decide the make-up of their team for the Olympics on May 10.

London 2012 Olympics: Don"t be surprised if we"ve hired a cheat – Martin Samuel

We sold our soul for medals, so don't be surprised if we've hired a cheat

By
Martin Samuel

PUBLISHED:

22:28 GMT, 2 May 2012

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UPDATED:

22:28 GMT, 2 May 2012

The Plastic Brit policy has been expanded. It's beginning to look as if we're so modern, we even have our own plastic cheats. The failed drugs test of Ukrainian-born Myroslav Dykun could throw into sharp relief this Faustian pact between British Wrestling and UK Sport.

This is what happens when a nation cravenly trades its soul for medals; this is what happens when a struggling, minority sport is ordered not to compromise in its quest for funding.

Dykun's positive sample may turn out to be the wholly unsurprising price of desperate self-advancement; sporting integrity being the first casualty of a clumsy lunge for the podium glory now necessary to secure UK Sport's government and lottery bounty.

Flag of inconvenience: Myroslav Dykun's positive test will embarrass Britain

Flag of inconvenience: Myroslav Dykun's positive test will embarrass Britain

Once it was decided that the ends justifies the means, that no prospects equalled no cash, there was always going to be a reckoning. Perhaps it is for the best that this tarnishing of the image of British sport arrives now, and not in the middle of our London Games.

Dykun came to Britain as a 21-year-old, ostensibly as a sparring partner for the best domestic wrestlers. Soon, the training party became the team, to the extent that of the seven athletes in British Wrestling's elite performance plan, five are east European.

No sparring partner: Dykun came to Britain as a 21-year-old and graduated to the Wrestling team

No sparring partner: Dykun came to Britain as a 21-year-old and graduated to the Wrestling team

A plastic drug cheat is no worse than a
home-produced one, of course, and the sin and sense of revulsion are the
same. Yet, however much opprobrium is heaped on Dykun, it is hard to
dismiss the thought that this is a direct result of UK Sport's demand
that winning is all and the details can be filled in later.

So desperate have we become for medals at our home Olympics that we appear to have allowed a dreadful lowering of standards on a variety of levels.

Denied a passport: Yana Stadnik (right)

Denied a passport: Yana Stadnik (right)

Blame and ban Dykun, if the B sample
confirms his guilt, obviously. But do not stop there. Blame Colin
Nicholson, chief executive of British Wrestling; blame his performance
director Shaun Morley, and blame the performance director of UK Sport,
Peter Keen. It is his policy of 'no compromise' that drags us here.

By linking funding purely to medal hopes – with some sports, particularly the highly competitive team events such as volleyball barely receiving anything at all – Keen has risked pushing the overseers of Olympic sports to extremes.

British Wrestling knew they would lose valuable financial support with weaker domestic athletes, so opted to protect their funding and succeed by any means necessary.

With Dykun's positive sample the sport is now in crisis. Home Office scrutiny is being applied to some recent marriages involving key team members and even the president of the world governing body, FILA, was moved to condemn Britain's opportunistic approach.

This, however, is a new low. Dykun's positive test will surely provoke an investigation into how much we want to triumph at these Games, and what we are prepared to sacrifice to win. Too much, it would seem, if we would rather fast-track cheats than send out our best to be beaten.

In our belief that compromise is for losers, we have exchanged what is right for what brings rewards – but this is fool's gold, as cheap and worthless as plastic.

Hugh Roberton: British imports should learn National Anthem

Start learning God Save The Queen! Olympics chief fires warning to Plastic Brits

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UPDATED:

15:49 GMT, 9 March 2012

Olympics minister Hugh Robertson has entered the row over 'Plastic Brits' by saying every athlete representing Team GB at the London 2012 Games should know the words to the national anthem.

American-born hurdler Tiffany Porter, who has opted to represent Britain despite living in the USA all her life, was challenged to say the words of 'God Save The Queen' after being named as British team captain for the athletics indoor world championships.

Porter, who has dual nationality via her British mother, insisted she did know the first lines to the anthem, and 5,000m star Mo Farah branded the question 'unacceptable'.

Overcoming hurdles: Tiffany Porter at the World Indoor Championships

Overcoming hurdles: Tiffany Porter at the World Indoor Championships

Other athletes drafted into the British team last year include Cuban-born triple jumper Yamile Aldama, USA's 400m runner Shana Cox and long jumper Shara Proctor of Anguilla. Two Ukrainian women, who had hoped to be named as part of the British wrestling team, learned earlier this month that their applications are unlikely to be approved by the Government.

Robertson insists there should be no fast-tracking of foreign-born athletes into Team GB simply because they might win medals – and that those that are accepted should know the words of God Save The Queen.

He said: 'If you are going to represent Britain at the Olympics then I think it is sensible to know the words of the national anthem.
“I would say that would be even more necessary if you think you are going to win a medal.

'I am pretty clear on this issue – anyone who wants to compete for Great Britain must go hold a British passport or go through the full naturalisation process.

'What I am against is giving special treatment to people simply to allow them to compete for this country.'

Robertson said there were many examples in the history of British sport of people who had moved from other countries but embraced the new team.

'Cricket is a classic case,' he added. 'Allan Lamb came from South Africa to play for England but I would argue now that he is British rather than South African. I would also regard Kevin Pietersen as a bona fide Brit.'

It is not just athletics and wrestling that have been looking abroad to strengthen their teams.

British cycling have announced that German-born 19-year-old Philip Hindes will travel to the world championships in Melbourne in early April and he is a likely member of Team GB at the Olympics.

Hindes has a British father but represented Germany at the junior world championships in 2010 before joining the Great Britain sprint academy at the age of 18.

Speaking after winning her heat in the 60m hurdles to advance to the semi-finals, Porter declined to be drawn on the issue.

'I'm focusing right now on competing and I'm very excited to be here,' she said. 'I'm focusing on doing my best tomorrow and in the finals. Right now I'm just focusing on competing and I'm going to do my very best out here today.'

London 2012 Olympics: No passports for plastic Brits wrestlers

EXCLUSIVE: No passports for plastic Brits: Ukraine-born wrestlers turned down

By
Jonathan McEvoy

Last updated at 10:51 PM on 2nd March 2012

Two 'Plastic Brits' have lost their controversial attempt to represent the Great Britain wrestling team at this summer's Olympics.

Sportsmail can reveal that Ukraine-born Yana Stadnik and Olga Butkevych will not be granted UK passports in time because they do not fulfil the Government's criteria.

Problems with their application came to light after British Wrestling filed the pair's documentation to the Home Office this week.

PLastic Brit: Olga Butkevych at the wrestling test event at ExCel last December

PLastic Brit: Olga Butkevych at the wrestling test event at ExCel last December

Sources say that although Stadnik and Butkevych have lived in the country for five years as required, they will not be granted 'indefinite leave to remain' – a condition of citizenship that demands 'sufficient knowledge of the English language and life in the United Kingdom' – for another year.

With this snag, it is extremely unlikely Home Secretary Theresa May will intervene to expedite their applications before the Olympics start on July 27.

'This marks the end of the road for these two individuals,' said a source close to the process.

The news will be seen as a victory for those who believe Britain should not chase medals by importing athletes with only a technical tie to the country.

It leaves British Wrestling, who appear to have been poorly advised by their lawyers, without the only two females they had planned to name in their Olympic team.

Flag of convenience Yana Stadnik (right) was born in the Ukraine

Flag of convenience Yana Stadnik (right) was born in the Ukraine

Three of their five male wrestlers are also non-British born – two from Ukraine and one from Bulgaria – but they have been granted citizenship.

Stadnik, 25, is a European silver medallist. She married Leon Rattigan, a heavyweight British-born wrestler, in 2010. The wedding was not a public occasion, but witnessed by Malcolm Morley, chairman of British Wrestling, and Yvonne Ball, the association's administrator.

It is believed five Ukrainian wrestlers have married British wrestlers in recent years. However, British Wrestling have denied the marriages are a sham.

Stadnik claimed last year in broken English: 'I have fallen in love four years ago with Leon. Most of the time we spend training together but the small spare time we have together we like going to the park. We have also been to Blackpool, Stonehenge and Liverpool.'

Chief executive Colin Nicholson added: 'These athletes have been in the country for a long period and have contributed to the Great Britain team in an immeasurable way.

Wrestling lift: Stadnik on the day she was married to Leon Rattigan

Wrestling lift: Stadnik on the day she was married to Leon Rattigan

'They have done a lot to motivate and inspire British youngsters.'

Not everyone feels the same, one example being Chloe Spiteri, who was born in the shadow of the Olympic Stadium but denied selection. She has called the selection policy 'unfair'.

Nicholson would not say whether the governing body would now look to pick British-born wrestlers. He also declined to confirm whether Butkevych, a 26-year-old European bronze medallist, had married a British squad member.

The manner of the Eastern Europeans' arrival in Britain is also subject to controversy. Several Ukranians and Bulgarians were brought over by Nicolai Kornyeyev, the Ukrainian who is GB's head coach, on working visas supposedly to act as sparring partners for British wrestlers at their training base in Salford.

Passport granted: Charlotte Bobcats' Byron Mullens goes up for a slam dunk

Passport granted: Charlotte Bobcats' Byron Mullens goes up for a slam dunk

It gave the new arrivals an Olympic chance that may not have materialised in their homelands, where wrestling is a stronger sport. Since then they have benefitted from 3.5million of UK Sport funding.

The British Olympic Association appear unlikely to intervene on behalf of Stadnik and Butkevych by making a special plea to the Home Office.

The Plastic Brits issue continues to stalk the British team across a number of sports. The point was reinforced when basketball centre Byron Mullens confirmed his availability to play for Great Britain after receiving his passport this week.

The 23-year-old Charlotte Bobcats star was born in Columbus, Ohio, but his mother is from Middlesex, making him eligible.

'Yessir,' he said on Twitter, with an accompanying picture of his new passport. 'I will be in London this summer!'

Mullens' availability could give Britain three NBA players in their 12-man squad, along with Detroit Pistons guard Ben Gordon and Luol Deng, who has continued to perform well for the Chicago Bulls despite playing with an injured left wrist.

Brighton 3 Southampton 0: Matt Sparrow at the double as Saints lose

Brighton 3 Southampton 0: Sparrow at the double as Saints suffer back-to-back defeats

[ANDY NAYLOR]

Southampton's march towards the Premier League has suddenly turned into a crawl.

They are still top of the table, but
Nigel Adkins' side suffered a double blow against Brighton, losing not
only a stormy derby but also top scorer Rickie Lambert for the next
three matches after he was sent off early in the second half.

Flying high: Sparrow scored two goals in quick succession to kill the clash

Flying high: Sparrow scored two goals in quick succession to kill the clash

MATCH FACTS

Brighton:
Brezovan, Greer,El-Abd, Sparrow, Mackail-Smith, LuaLua (Harley 85),
Bridcutt, Taricco (Hall 54), Cook, Buckley, Forster-Caskey. Subs Not Used: Ankergren, Paynter, Vicente. Sent Off: Greer (87). Booked: Sparrow. Goals: Forster-Caskey 66, Sparrow 76, 86.

Southampton:
Davis, Richardson, Harding (Fox 40), Lambert, Cork, Do Prado (Forte
60), Hammond, Martin, Lallana (Reeves 73), Connolly, Hooiveld. Subs Not Used: Bialkowski, Holmes. Sent Off: Lambert (51). Booked: Harding.

Att: 20,773

Ref: Andy D'Urso (Essex).

Brighton, already missing 10 players
through injury and suspension, finished with 10 men as well after
skipper Gordon Greer was sent off in the closing stages.

Their win was sweet revenge for a
controversial 3-0 defeat at St Mary's in November when Lambert destroyed
them with a hat-trick, including two penalties.

The forward was the villain this
time, with Saints desperate to bounce straight back from their only home
League defeat of 2011 against Bristol City on Friday night.

Lambert shoved Brighton defender Adam
El-Abd in a wrestling match off the ball in the 52nd minute, right
under the nose of referee Andy D'Urso.

Adkins said: 'I didn't see it live and
the video pictures weren't great. Ricky was grappled to the ground. He
is trying to get up, he pushes him away and the referee deems it as a
red card. It was a massive turning point.'

Early bath: Lambert was shown a straight red card

Early bath: Lambert was shown a straight red card

Brighton, desperate for a result after four straight defeats without scoring, took full advantage.

Jake Forster-Caskey, on his full debut, pounced to score when Saints keeper Kelvin Davis spilled a shot from Kazenga LuaLua.

Then Matt Sparrow, who played for
Adkins at Scunthorpe, gave Davis no chance from 25 yards and he
completed Southampton's misery in the closing stages with a shot
following a corner.

Brighton's victory was marred by the
late dismissal of Greer after another off-the-ball incident involving
Southampton substitute Jonathan Forte.

They have the worst disciplinary
record in the Championship and boss Gus Poyet is running out of
defenders after his assistant Mauricio Taricco limped off in the second
half with a hamstring injury.

In the first half there had been no sign of the trouble looming for Southampton.

Adam Lallana had two shots from
outside the box saved by Brighton keeper Peter Brezovan and Guly do
Prado shot over the bar from close range.

Up for the battle: Southampton's Lallana (left) is challenged by Bridcutt

Up for the battle: Southampton's Lallana (left) is challenged by Bridcutt

Lallana had another effort cleared off the line by defender Steve Cook, recalled for his League debut from a loan spell at Bournemouth.

Adkins joined the clamour for goal-line technology after seeing a video of Cook's clearance.

He said: 'We scored a goal but the linesman hasn't seen it. The ball has actually crossed the line. Goal-line technology shouts out.'

Brighton boss Gus Poyet said: 'I didn't see it and I am looking forward to sitting down and looking at the red cards.

'I'm honest, if it was over the line it was over the line, if there was a punch it's a punch.

'A few of the players had the chance of their lives to play and they took it.

'We knew it would be difficult but that, sooner or later, we would have chances.'